Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I Got Paid for an Article! (Don't Get Too Excited Yet)

A couple of weeks ago I read about how one freelancer gets paid about $150 per month on articles she's already written, without having to do anything more after the initial write & publish, and decided to give it a try.

Basically, you write a 'how to' article on any topic and publish it to ehow's website. The website then pays you on a monthly basis, based on how many hits the article receives that month (I've read you're not actually paid for the hits, per se, but for ads that fill the space on your pages). After two days on the site, my article received 168 hits. In internet terms, that isn't a whole lot of hits. But I haven't been actively publishing online for long, and I have to admit: I was excited!

And then I checked my 'earnings account' to find out how much the hits had earned me. $2? $5? I started running calculations in my head. If I received 100 views per day - even if I was only paid $2 per day - that would be $60 per month on that one article. With that tantalizing number in my mind, I clicked on the button for my 'earnings' account.

That number wasn't so tantalizing. Or exciting. It appeared that after nearly 200 hits, I'd made a lump sum of four cents. Four ... cents! At that rate, I'd break a dollar in a month. IF I kept getting around 100 hits per day, which I didn't. In fact, I got barely any after the initial few days.

But you know what? I'm going to keep writing for this site during my free time on nights & weekends. While I wouldn't pour 'work' time into this as a reasonable income source, it is another opportunity to practice online marketing. And, I found several good ideas there about increasing web traffic. The best tip was:

Add your page URL to search engines. Go to http://www.freewebsubmission.com/ and add your site to about 20 different search engines at once. Free Web Submissions also shows what search engines are the most popular (top five, from most popular, are: Yahoo, Google, MSN, Open Directory, Scrub the Web) And, it includes informational articles about how the web works, as far as crawling sites, etc.


Valencia said...

EHow offers a good compensation plan. I had the opportunity to write articles for the site, wherein I received $10 per "how-to". Even though I received upfront payments, I also receive monthly performance bonuses. I've written 32 short how-to articles for the site, and I earn between $60 and $70 a month from these articles. My plan is to keep contributing articles, and hopefully make $10 a day off my content.

Telecommuting Diva
Freelance Writer's World

Colleen said...

Hi Valencia!

Wow, that is good. Thanks for sharing your experience, which makes me think I should give ehow more of a shot.

What are you doing to get the articles exposed? Do you submit your url or do other types of marketing?

Valencia said...

So far, I've haven't promoted the articles. All traffic comes from search engines. Some articles generate more income than others. Thus, I think the trick is using popular keywords in the article titles.

Colleen said...

That's good to know. I'm trying to figure out the whole key word thing now. I took a trial on wordtracker and am still figuring it all out.

Nice blog, 'Diva'! I was just thinking I should find out more about taxes when I saw your post.